Preparations are underway for the 2018 California Mid-State Fair and it’s almost go-time for the many 4-H and FFA members and student exhibitors throughout the county. Thanks to the efforts of CMSF Heritage Foundation volunteers, the 100,000-foot Paso Robles Pavilion is ready to welcome visitors for the second year.
“The new pavilion and arena area is fabulous,” CMSF Livestock Superintendent Jo Ann Switzer said. “The animals, the students and people who stop by to visit are much more comfortable now.”

Opening Ceremony

Photo courtesy of CMSF

Switzer encourages everyone to come by to see the animals, talk with the students, and ask questions. A vast array of animals – poultry, rabbits, swine, sheep, cattle, goats, and more – will be on display. The barn area is open daily to the public during the fair from noon to 8 p.m.
For decades, Switzer has dedicated countless hours helping young people in our community participate in livestock activities at the fair. “I just love these kids and I believe in this program,” she said. “And I can’t say enough about the leaders and instructors who teach these children; it’s a great undertaking and a lot of responsibility – they do a great job year after year.”
On Tuesday, July 18, stop by and support 4-H and FFA kids during the Poultry Show and Turkey Show and stick around for Dairy Goat Showmanship. New this year, the California Junior Livestock Association (CJLA) brings attention to the Wether Dam Doe Goat Breeding Show.
The always popular Cattlemen and Farmer’s Day happens on Thursday, July 19. The day’s activities include a barbeque luncheon, the Cattlemen and Farmer’s Social Hour, a steak dinner and the presentation of awards in the evening.
The first weekend is filled with events including the new Specialty Sheep, Rabbit, and CJLA Wether Dam Ewe shows on Friday, the 4-H Dog Show on Saturday and the Farm Supply Junior Livestock Quiz Jam on Sunday.
As the week unfolds, things pick up with the brand-new Dairy Cattle Show and the Breeding Sheep Show on Monday. Tuesday brings the Market Hog, Market Lamb, and Meat Goat shows. Wednesday is packed with the Breeding Beef and Market Steer shows, the Ladies and Lads Lead/Costume Show, and the Supreme Champion Selection featuring Meat Goats, Market Sheep, Market Swine and Market Beef.
On Thursday, July 26, the morning brings 4-H and FFA showmanship in the Swine, Meat Goat and Sheep categories followed by the Replacement Heifer Show in the evening. On Friday, Beef Showmanship happens in the morning with the Replacement Heifer Show starting at 6 p.m.
The much-anticipated Junior Livestock Auction begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 28. Potential bidders should purchase buyer numbers ahead of time or arrive early to obtain a number at the gate.
“The auction is a life-learning experience for the kids,” said Switzer. “It teaches business sense, responsibility, and money management skills. Most put away the money they earn for college or to purchase their next fair animal.”
This year’s primary Livestock Judges are: Swine – Brian Anderson; Cattle – Dr. Scott Schaake; Market Lamb, Market Goat, and Breeding Sheep – Charles Seidensticker.
Sunday events include Round Robin and Pee Wee Showmanship, the Livestock Judging Contest and, new this year, the Stock Show Mom and Stock Show Dad Showmanship Contest. Finishing up the 2018 CMSF season, the Livestock Judging Contest and Round Robin Showmanship Awards Ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Follow daily updates in the livestock area at: The Replacement Heifer Sale and the Junior Livestock Auction will livestream on Facebook as well. The CMSF Livestock Office will be open daily during the fair from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. or call 805-238-3272 for more info. *Be sure to check for any last-minute schedule updates.
Meagan Friberg can be reached at